Tuesday, May 31, 2016


“Mr.Trump, have you no shame?”  These are the words addressed to Donald Trump by Rick Perry only a short time ago in Perry’s effort to shame Trump out of the presidential race.  It now appears Rick Perry has no shame.  It seems he is willing to put aside his so-called conservative principles in an effort to further his own self-aggrandizement and to stay in the public’s view.  Perry has placed the good of the country second to his own personal ambition by endorsing Trump while offering himself up as Trump’s vice-presidential running mate. [Update, June 8: Trump declines veep idea but still has a post in mind for Perry.]

Perry called Donald Trump a cancer on conservatism, a phony—in other words, indicating Trump was merely a huckster trying to pull the wool over the eyes of American voters.  When asked how Perry could put aside his criticisms of Trump given his past condemnation, he said that was simply political talk.  It seems to me this is a confession that Rick Perry will say whatever is necessary in a political context to curry favor with voters.  On the other hand it is pretty good evidence neither Perry nor his fellow travelers ever mean what they hold forth about pretending they are concerned only for what is good for the state and nation. 

If one believes Perry’s touting of his fervent Christian beliefs, which he claims to be long-held, one would have to question how he could support someone like Donald Trump.  Last time I checked, Christian beliefs did not include having numerous affairs out of wedlock, divorcing one’s wife twice or three times, or being so smug about your self-righteousness that you claim you never felt the need to ask God for forgiveness.  This is in addition to the obvious evidence that Trump holds very doubtful beliefs about Christianity.  Although he claims the Bible to be his favorite book, he could not correctly quote a scripture fromthe Book of Corinthians and refuses to reveal his favorite biblical scripture.  So much for Perry supporting candidates with so-called family values that he seems to espouse so greatly.

For Perry, who was Texas’ governor for fourteen years, supporting someone like Trump who babbles insults based on gender, religion, national origin or race brings into question all of the proclamations of Perry doing what was right for citizens of Texas.  Anyone with an iota of political experience could readily see the phoniness of building a wall on the Mexican border, arresting and banishing 11-million Mexicans who do not have legal papers, or doing away with the national debt in two years is simply ignoring the truth. For Perry to support someone who has told the litany of falsehoods and uttered the insulting comments as has Donald Trump can only be explained by Perry's burning ambition to stay in the public limelight and retain status that holding a high office brings.

We are only now discovering how Perry doled out millions to his buddies from gubernatorial slush funds in exchange for financial support in the elections.  We are also seeing how willing he was to let little children suffer without adequate health care by refusing the billions of dollars available to Texas from federal funds merely to burnish his conservative credentials while running for president.  Yes, Rick Perry have you no shame?

Monday, May 23, 2016


If the father and mother of a normal family had the ability to earn adequate income to provide for the necessities for their family and yet refused or failed to give adequate sustenance or clothing to their children while all the while depositing portions of their income into a savings plan, such conduct would be considered child abuse.  Or, at the very least, the parents would be deemed unfit or unwise.  This is especially true if, while denying their children adequate care and stuffing money into their savings account, they refused to follow a course available to them to earn more money.  This scenario is exactly what the State of Texas has chosen to do with its so-called Rainy Day Fund.

Texas’ constitution written by our forefathers provided that Texas should never engage in debt but should pay its bills as the needs arose.  For years, until the approach of the current 21st Century, the Legislature managed to avoid imposing debt on the taxpayers of Texas and established basically a savings plan of surpluses available in the approaching ‘90's.  The Legislature had a choice at that time of either putting surplus tax money into a savings account or reducing taxes.  The Legislature chose the Rainy Day Fund over the option of saving money at the time for their constituents.

Like the family who deprived their children rather than spend from their savings account, Texas has denied millions of its children educational opportunity, health care services and many other essentials for Texas’ constituents.  It appears the Legislature has been unwise in the use of the Rainy Day Fund by simply using it to avoid having to consider raising taxes. While eagerly preserving the Rainy Day Fund, our state leaders have managed to allow debts in numerous areas to continue unabated.  One example of failure to attend to its children is the spectacular rising cost of a higher education in Texas.

For another example, no money until recently has been allocated for highways and roads even though our roads and bridges are seriously deteriorated throughout the state.  It seems the Legislature would rather search for gimmicks rather than 'ponying up' and doing what is necessary to raise adequate funds for our highways. They have the ability to attend to the needs of the state as are currently necessary. However, the current estimate of what it would take to get us out of the mess created by attempting to provide adequate highways and roads in Texas through toll ways is that it has left us $30 billion in debt.  

On the horizon there are other bad signs our state could be in further financial trouble. Our recent Attorney General and the current Attorney General seem to be hellbent on succeeding by suing the United States government. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the suits they have filed have been unsuccessful.  There are currently three or four serious lawsuits pending against the State of Texas concerning education and the neglect of children, any one of which could bring about severe financial impacts.  The question will be whether or not our leaders will simply use up the Rainy Day Fund and then attend to other needs of the State by paying as the needs arise.

Our forefathers had it right.  We should pay as we go.  And if our earnings or income is not adequate, our leaders should have the guts to stand up and say "we are going to cut services for you and your children rather than ask you to pony up a little more money to attend to these needs."  

For years politicians have been running on the promise they will pay for the wonderful things by eliminating waste and corruption.  After 32 years as a member of the legislative body, I’m here to attest there 'ain’t' that much waste and corruption to be found.  Our legislative and state leaders need to simply suck it up and admit to the public what’s needed and attend to it.  

Texans are not so stupid they can’t understand increasing the tax burden a little to provide for those things essential to future growth and a decent living for the citizens of Texas.

Monday, May 16, 2016


It is clear most Texans who vote in our elections consider themselves conservative.  In the past I have written about how a Texas conservative is defined.  Frankly in too many instances it is my fervent belief that being a conservative politician in Texas means dancing to the tune of special interests—particularly the oil and gas industry, along with the insurance industry.

Recently Dallas Morning News published a provocative article about whether or not members of Texas Republican leadership are true conservatives.  In the minds of most folks a governmental conservative or conservative politician is one who does everything possible to save taxpayers money, has a tight fiscal budget, and limits government intrusions into citizens’ everyday lives.

The article questioned whether or not our leaders were true conservatives, particularly in the field of responsible money management for our state.  When Rick Perry took office our state’s bonded indebtedness was $14.8 billion.  Under the fiscal leadership of Perry and our current governor, our state’s bonded indebtedness has risen to $40.8 billion.  While the rallying cry for our Republican politicians has long been the accusation that all Democrats do is tax and spend, they seem to ignore the Republican style which could best be described as borrow and spend.

While ignoring the option of a small gradual increase in our motor fuel tax, or taking the option of pegging our motor fuel tax to the rising economies of national productivity, our leadership has deemed it good policy to simply issue more bonds and borrow more money to support unprofitable toll roads. 

Failure to keep an eye on our ever growing obligation on retirement programs in Texas, there has been a spectacular growth far above the national average in our unfunded liabilities for retirement.  Our retirement liability is growing at a rate of 13.5% per year, about twice as much as the national level, and far exceeding the economic growth of our state which is 6.5%.

Our governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general have pretty much ignored the growing debt through the borrowing they have sanctioned by simply saying that increased economic activity and population growth in Texas would more than make up for the difference and we would quickly be able to pay off our debt.  Population growth in Texas has failed by several percentage points to match the projected forecast of our leaders.  Texas’ population growth has slowed to where it is only about 3% per year.

It seems to me that perhaps we should re-define conservatism or demand that our statewide politicians who sell themselves as being conservatives do a better job of practicing what they preach.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


It seems to me that anytime anyone comments on abortion they are bound to run into trouble with one group or another.  There are some attitudes about abortions which simply do not compute in my mind as logical reactions.

I’ve often said that hypocrisy is too often a common malady among participants in the ritual of self-government.  In my mind the same is true concerning abortion.  First of all, while I am repulsed by the thought of abortion, I’m also repulsed by the thought that government should enforce a religious belief and that men should vote and pass laws telling women how they should treat their own bodies.

I’ve also opined that the hypocrisy in the forces of anti-abortionism strikes me as somewhat hypocritical in that great concern is expressed time after time for the unborn, but generally those expressing that concern appear to have very little concern for those children already born.

Texas has a dismal record of caring for its children.  Currently, there is a minor scandal going on concerning the state’s foster care program.  There are numerous records of abandoned children being required to spend the night in the offices of state administrators because of inadequate facilities to offer better care.  There are serious questions as well about psychiatric care of children who are victims of abuse.  Apparently, there is no cohesive policy as to when and how long children should be afforded psychological therapy and very little tracing of the results thereof. 

There’s no aggressive adoption program in Texas, and our state leadership in their wisdom is doing its best to obliterate Planned Parenthood which was doing a credible job of counseling poor and unwed women about how to avoid unwanted pregnancies. 

Child Protective Services has traditionally been classically underfunded and inadequately staffed.  Numerous cases have surfaced where children left in abusive situations too long have suffered debilitating injuries and even death for lack of follow up and adequate investigation.

The national press has repeatedly reported that there are more uninsured children in Texas percentage-wise than any other state of the union, and yet our governor and past governor steadfastly refuse to accept federal funds there for the asking which could cover millions and millions of Texas children with adequate medical care.  Children who lack medical care will only cost us in terms of not only dollars but heartaches for future generations in our state.  While I understand the desire of those who, based on religious beliefs, advocate abolition of abortion, I do not understand those who claim to adhere to the majority of our religious teachings ignoring in such a callous way the needs of Texas children.